The iconic skiing game, Ski Challenge, was first launched on PC in 1998 and became widely popular among games based on winter sports as it revitalised interest in the sport among the youth. In 2022, developers, Greentube in partnership with the German Ski Federation, Austrian Ski Federation and Swiss-Ski, launched Ski Challenge on mobile which is available on both Android and IOS. Their goal with this game is to establish it as an esports title. The game is painstakingly crafted to deliver an authentic skiing experience on your handheld device. It features tracks from real-life locations such as based on popular skiing destinations in Europe such as Zermatt and St Moritz in Switzerland, Bormio in Italy and Garmisch In Germany. The game is simple to learn but difficult to master, but hopefully, this guide will bring you closer to it.
The game offers three different types of controls. I chose the single thumb control as it suited me best but you will have to play to see which suits you the best. The concept behind the actual gameplay is simple, stay on the piste and do not skip the gates all while attempting to reach the finish before your opponent. These goals on their own aren’t hard to achieve but doing them all together against the clock is the challenge. You have to master the controls and the track to gain a respectable position on the leaderboard. All the player has to do is steer the skier deftly and brake at the right moments to not go off the marked area, the piste, or worse crash. Missed gates incur a penalty when compared to the times of your opponent after finishing the race, which means even if you have won if you achieved it by missing the checkpoints you may lose.
Ski settings and how they work
As Ski Challenge is geared towards competitive play and e-sports, there is no shortcut to excellence other than practice. The game offers an unranked mode which lets you familiarise yourself with the tracks. This is important as the player with sufficient practice can predict when to turn and brake thus reducing their overall time. Knowledge of the track allows the player to tweak the ski to their convenience from the ski settings menu before a race. There are 3 values:
Speed: Speed as the name suggest governs your speed. If it is too low the player will struggle to gain speed. Ideally, it should be high enough without compromising your control.
Grip: Grip determines how much grip the skier has through corners. Lower values will make the player skid more in the turns and require you to lower the speed. Higher values will cause you to not lose grip in the corners at higher speeds.
Carve: Carve values determine the sensitivity of the skier while turning. Lower values effectively mean that the skier takes a larger area to turn while a higher value means the skier will turn sharply.
Control over the skier depends on multiple factors such as the track, the player and the values in the ski settings menu. The above values are co-dependent on each other. to increase, let’s say Speed, values must be taken from the other categories so that they can be added to Speed. Maxing out one stat will have a negative effect. the points must be distributed according to the track and play style. For example, Zermatt has gentle turns and long stretches where the player can build up speed. So for Zermatt, the points should be allocated to allow greater speed while sacrificing grip and carve.
Coins in Ski Challenge
Ski Challenge has in-game currency in the form of coins but the purchasing ability of these coins is limited. The coins are used to purchase cosmetic items only such as outfits, hats, gloves, etc. It allows for greater customisability of the skier which was not seen in previous iterations of the game. Currently, coins can only be earned through the Ski Pass which is the game’s version of a battle pass. You earn points in the ski pass by completing missions, winning in competitive and completing time challenges for each track in unranked. The time challenge has 3 levels based on which it gives points for the ski pass. The lowest gives 1 point while the highest gives 4. The points earned through the various means unlock rewards in the ski pass which are mostly coins but also include cosmetic items. The only other means to earn coins is by purchasing them with money. There is currently no way to earn coins through ads or similar means.
The game is well-made. It is a no-nonsense title that goes out to achieve exactly what it wants, to create an esports title while also being accessible to a large population. Ski challenge is well on the path of being an iconic game especially in its field. We can only wait and see to what heights this game can potentially reach.
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